Friday, 11 June 2010

WMRT: Azzurra is Racing in South Korea

Korea Match Cup. Image copyright Ian Roman/Subzero Images.

by Jill Campbell

Korea Match Cup, Stage 3 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour, commenced Wednesday with a stunning opening ceremony. The event, which will run from 9 to 13 June 2010, is the first of the 2010 Tour to take place outside Europe. Azzurra of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, is represented at Korea Match Cup with a team led by skipper Francesco Bruni, with Gabriele “Ganga” Bruni, Matteo Auguadro and Pierluigi De Felice as crew.

This is the second event of the World Match Racing Tour which team Azzurra is attending, having missed the second leg of the Tour in Germany while competing at the Louis Vuitton Trophy in La Maddalena, Italy. The line up at Korea Match Cup is impressive, with twelve skippers including Mathieu Richard (FRA) of French Match Racing Team and Adam Minoprio (NZL) of ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, respectively number 1 and 2 in the overall Tour rankings. The line up also includes another Italian skipper, defending champion Paolo Cian of Team Italia, winner of the 2009 Korea Match Cup.

Racing started today after the formalities with a light breeze which saw slow tactical boat manoeuvres by the top helms. It was definitely a day for demonstrating the power of the local hero after Park GunWoo (KOR) of Busan Match Team, stole the limelight from esteemed match racer Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing. The teams race on KM36 yachts specially commissioned for this event where light winds are likely to prevail. On this opening day team Azzurra won two matches, against Bjorn Hansen and Bertand Pace, and lost one to Mathieu Richard. The format includes a single round robin, followed by quarterfinals, semi finals and finals.

Team Azzurra flew to South Korea straight from La Maddalena, with no rest in between: “It’s great to come back to the Tour series again after racing on the America’s Cup boats. I feel the more racing a skipper can schedule into their calendar then the better equipped they will be to perform at international events.

"Match racing comes down to practice, the more you tune your mind into winning and becoming a seamless team, then the more certain you will be to do well and improve as a group. We are happy with how we sailed today, especially since we are amongst the very few who have never sailed on these boats before and this type of knowledge can make a big difference. The conditions today were really hard, with very light and unstable winds; in these situations each race is open till the very end. The organisers have done an amazing job both at sea and on shore and it is wonderful to see so many spectators lined up along the shore to watch the racing!”

Day 1: Round Robin Provisional Results
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-0
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 3-0
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 3-0
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 2-1
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Gill Global Team 2-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 1-2
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 1-2
Bertrand Pacé (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team 1-2
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 1-2
Park GunWoo (KOR) Busan Match 1-2
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia 0-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 0-3

Korea Match Cup
World Match Racing Tour